6 of the Most Influential Books to Read at University
Starting university is a major life change, followed immediately by another: surviving in the real world. Many students feel unprepared for both. One way you can learn how to succeed is to read books. Everything from self-help books and guides to novels and memoirs can provide you with valuable information to help you thrive.
1. The List That Changed My Life
A great choice if you’re looking for a break from studying is The List That Changed My Life. Olivia Beirne’s debut novel follows protagonist Georgia as her life is suddenly transformed when her sister is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Previously lazy and risk-averse, Georgia now has just months to help her sister complete all the items on an ambitious list before she turns 30.
2. 175+ Things to Do Before You Graduate College
It’s also worth making your own list of things you want to do. Wherever you are in your university journey, 175+ Things to Do Before You Graduate College by Charlotte Lake will give you plenty of ideas. Instead of expecting you to work through the entire bucket list, the book will help you figure out what matters most to you and suggest activities to enrich your time at university.
3. The People We Keep
It’s particularly rewarding to read stories you can relate to. One that fits the bill is The People We Keep by Allison Larkin. The novel follows April Sawicki, who (failing school and working shifts at a diner) leaves her dad’s motorhome behind to pursue a career as a songwriter. The themes of finding your own way in the world, discovering your passions, and fighting for your dreams are all ones that will resonate with university students.
4. The Greatest College Health Guide You Never Knew You Needed
Leading a healthy lifestyle should be a priority for all students, as it’s easy to develop unhealthy habits now that could be difficult to break later. The Greatest College Health Guide You Never Knew You Needed is packed with tips from coaches Jill and Dave Henry about how to manage all aspects of your physical and mental health — from diet and exercise to stress and sleep. The graphics, anecdotes from the authors, and additional advice from students make this a fun, as well as an informative, read.
You may have read the award-winning memoir Educated by Tara Westover already. If you haven’t, make sure you do while you’re still at university. Raised by survivalist parents, the author only began a formal education at age 17, but she taught herself enough to be admitted into a top university. This coming-of-age story is likely to be the polar opposite of your own. Nonetheless, the topics of self-invention and fitting in are universal.
6. Life Beyond College
If you’re nearing the end of your time at university, make sure to pick up Life Beyond College: Everything They Didn’t Teach You About Your First 10 Years After Graduation. Author Kevin P. Coyne is a senior teaching professor who has seen countless students reach the point where you are today. He offers advice for the personal, financial, and legal challenges you’ll face after graduation. Reading this book now will arm you with the information you need to avoid some of the most common mistakes recent graduates make.
Another way to make the most of your time now and to feel more prepared for life after university is to gain more independence. Moving into an off-campus student community will mean you have much more freedom, but you won’t miss out on the experiences of student living. Ottawa students can find the perfect housing at 1Eleven. You’ll be around other students (you can even have roommates, if you wish) and you’ll have access to some great onsite amenities (including a fitness centre and games room), all while being just steps from campus. Book a tour to see the facilities for yourself.